Title: Natural Logs vs. Logarithms

Authors: Tu as Three and Demon as Delgado!Master AND the Brigadier *gasp of horror*

Rating: T for ruining every Doctor/Master moment of New Who and Three being, well… THREE

Summary: The Master shows up with 'no ulterior motives' and the Doctor needs help with a few designs… this can only end badly.


Doctor: With little cucumbers and nommy bits! *pleased with self* I find that awkward conversation always gives me an appetite

Master: Enjoy it while you can Doctor, it may be your last! *frowny!face*

Doctor: *little pouty frowny face of win* *noms*

Master: *sigh* Oh, do stop pouting... I take it back, you can have many more... *coughs* cucumber sandwiches with nommy bits...

Doctor: Oh, you do think highly of yourself. *hmmfs* I hardly need YOUR permission to have a sandwich, or several if the mood strikes

Master: *eyebrow raise of unlikelihood* Oh really, my dear Doctor? And just how do you propose to make a sandwich by yourself? *is carrying this metaphor as far as it will go*

Doctor: *blinkstare* You do realize that it's actually an extremely simple process, merely the layering of the desired toppings onto a piece of bread, or toast-- I prefer bread *missed the innuendo COMPLETELY* Even Captain Yates has managed it on occasion, though not without the use of some of my very delicate equipment *still bitter about that*

Master: *is contemplating mind-raping the Doctor JUST to make him understand* *COUGHS* *is trying REALLY hard to escape the metaphor, but just can't* Erm, yes... I suppose he has... *defeated!sigh* *slight pout*

Doctor: *smirk* Something the matter? You don't look at all well. *not quite sure what happened but aware that he won*

Master: Perhaps I'm coming down with an illness... *dejected!sigh* *is definitely not secretly hoping the Doctor might take pity on him and play comfort!nurse*

Doctor: An illness? *laughs* somehow I doubt that, as if you would let yourself fall pray to anything so mundane *personal space invasion* Now, really, what are you up to?

Master: *is just a tad offended that the Doctor immediately suspects him of foul play the minute something is different* *but he makes up for it by personal space invasion* *and it gives him an opportunity to possibly avenge the wasted metaphor* Why, my dear Doctor, I am at my leisure, I am up to, as you put it, nothing...

Doctor: I find that hard to believe *looks a little uncertain, the Master might actually be telling the truth, after all. Stranger things have happened* Unless you're simply here for the company, which your many and unflattering descriptions of the Brigadier would lead me to doubt.

Master: *evil!smirk of winnage* Too true... so what could possibly have brought me here, you must be wondering. *is stalling in order to come up with a suitably ambiguous plot that will eventually end up in secksy TARDIS tiem...*

Doctor: *sudden!realization* Oh no... *takes a step back in HORROR*

Master: *eyebrow!quirk of win* *well, THAT didn't take too long* Yes, Doctor, yes, that's exactly what I'm here for... *sweat-drop* *worries the Doctor will call his bluff and pick some hair-brained reason for him to be here just to spite him*

Doctor: Well, you'll NEVER get it, *practically RUNS back over to the work table* Not ever, I've spent months perfecting the design and hours convincing the Brigadier to give me the materials *cuddles his latest pet project*

Master: *gob smacked* *the Doctor HASN'T managed to call his bluff, but has still managed to come up with the most ridiculous evil plan he could think of...* Yes, I've come for *coughs* your Prototype Electromagnetic Neuralizing Isotope Screwdriver.

Doctor: I might have known! *frowns* You never could resist interfering with my experiments! *gives it a little toss*

Master: *gulp* *is continuously STUNNED by the Doctor's incredible ability to ignore innuendo* *obviously he's spent too much time in 'ignorance-r-us' UNIT* Yes... always. Since you could never quite calibrate them correctly though *hopes that the insult might snap the Doctor out of his ignorance*

Doctor: *eyebrow quirk* My dear fellow, you were the one who could never quite manage his calibrations, if I remember correctly.

Master: Perhaps, but then your designs were always unbalanced.... *return personal space invasion*

Doctor: *holds the Prototype a little closer and steps back into the table* My designs were inspired *pouts!grumble* at least some said so *cough YOUsaidso cough*

Master: *flinches* *cough*It'sbecausetheywerebasedoffof...*COUGH* *refuses to end that sentence* *hopes that NOW POSSIBLY the Doctor will snap out of his significantly WRONG PG-rating* *otherwise saying that just induced WAY too much blush-of-Rassilon and awkward!explanation*

Doctor: *eyebrows have gone to hide in the hair* ...I see. *looks down at the Prototype* *looks up at the Master* *scowls* yes, I think I finally see what's going on here : [

Master: *FINALLY!* *smirk of relief/win* *moment of doubt* You do, do you? *quizzical!brow, just to make sure* *sidles after Doctor one more*

Doctor: You're not just after the prototype, you're after my designs! *slides away again* *HAS managed to pick up on the innuendo and is trying to ignore it again*

Master: *just BARELY manages to restrain a frustrated!groan* *forehead!rub* Yes, Doctor, I'm after your designs as well... they're what I eat and breathe, day in, day out, all I think about is, "when will I get the Doctor's designs?" *decides to just take it and run with it* *is wondering if he should perhaps regret saying that, in case the Doctor takes him seriously*

Doctor: Is that so? *mischievous grin* how terribly single minded, I had hoped you might spend at least a small portion of your time on more... diverting past times.

Master: *head snaps up in shock* *sees mischievous!grin* *flooded with hope* You... well, my dear Doctor, if I hadn't been so terribly worried that I might never see your designs, I would have been able to give more thought to more diverting past times.

Doctor: *well aware that he's on dangerous footing* You should have known better. I could not have kept them from you if I'd tried. *feeling a little nostalgic and affectionate, with all the science!Talk*

Master: *hearts beat faster* *is in denial of this* *also the warmth suddenly flooding through his body* *refuses to LOOK at all pleased/nostalgic* *coughs* Well... *coughs* It... it must have been some time since you've shown me your designs, I've forgotten...

Doctor: *a little hopeful/flattered/relieved that the Master isn't threatening to blow things up and kill people* Would you really like to see? Obviously I've made several changes...

Master: *is flattered/relieved the Doctor is willing to share* *even if they are JUST designs* I would be honored, my dear Doctor.

Doctor: *starts going through stacks of papers to find the relevant designs* I must say, I expected something more from you...

Master: *eyebrow raise of distrust* Such as...? You were looking FORWARD to my latest threat to take over the world unless you did as I commanded? *snorts* I'm sorry Doctor, but no such luck today...

Doctor: *shakes his head* No, no, I hardly wanted you to be up to your usual scheming. Still, *sigh* well, seeing you so easily satisfied...

Master: *ASFGHKAHEIUWR* *flusteredness-of-Rassilon* Well! *huffs* if I hadn't been suppressed and rejected to the point of doubting any attempt at camaraderie with you perhaps I WOULDN'T BE! *is totally not sore about this and does not blame the Doctor entirely*

Doctor: Is that so? *looks a little surprised/hurt* Is that what you've been attempting to do? Hm? Because if these past few... visits were attempts at camaraderie I have notes! *flustered*

Master: *breaks flusteredness scale* No, Doctor, and if you took such copious notes, which would surprise me greatly, given how dumbly you responded to my last visits, you would recall that they had a significantly greater intent than camaraderie! *is going to pretend he didn't just reveal something hideously vulnerable and tender*

Doctor: *cool and seemingly unaffected* Shall I assume you mean sex, rather than murder?

Master: *long drawn out sigh* *is going to also pretend that that didn't really, really hurt* Shall we just look at those designs then?

Doctor: Yes, yes I suppose we should. *liprub* *hoping to get the Master out of there, so he'll stop making him feel vaguely guilty and uncomfortable* *goes back to digging in the pile of design sheets* ...I know I had it in here somewhere

Master: *wryly, but not too wry, as that could tempt the Doctor to plunge another dagger into his hearts* *is definitely not going to nurse this one forever* There's one specifically you wanted to show me?

Doctor: Yes, *too distracted to realize that that probably isn't a wise thing to admit to* yes, there was... a modification of something I've been working on for quite some time--Ahhah

Master: *approaches the Doctor, for purely scientific purposes in seeing the design clearly* Hmm... are you sure that the overall shape is becoming for its function? *is only a vaguely pointed comment*

Doctor: *frowns* I see nothing wrong with its shape... *looks over at him* besides, you're hardly one to comment, I am familiar, you'll remember, with your tissue compression eliminator *teasing*

Master: *coughs* Yes, um... that was a little... ungainly... But, I rather think if you smoothed out this section here *makes a sweeping gesture* and tighten the corners here *points* It will work much more effectively *small grin hiding uncertainty*

Doctor: *blinks* Really?...*pulls the plans closer to look at them* Yes-- yes, I suppose if the phase shift modifier were slightly farther back... *getting absorbed in the awesomeness that is his latest gadget* *remembers that the Master's there* *suspicious* Why are you helping me?

Master: *scoffs* Purely for scientific advancement, my dear Doctor! You know, as well as I, that I could never resist a good invention... neither could you, of course. *smug!smirk* *is not going to be trapped into some emotional outburst twice today*

Doctor: Of course *snatches the plans, because, really, he shouldn't be giving the Master access to his brilliant ideas, who KNOWS what purposes he could twist them to* Well, if that was your singular purpose in visiting UNIT, you should be able to return to your TARDIS satisfied.

Master: *sigh* *WHY does he keep using that word?!* *turns to leave* *turns back* Are you sure there wasn't anything else you wanted me to see? Anything at all? *trying really hard not to sound desperate*

Doctor: Are you... *really trying not to love this* ... offering to stay? *failing*

Master: *not looking at the Doctor* Not for a PROLONGED amount of time, but... as I have no plans of universal domination currently, I thought I might perhaps spare you a few precious seconds... *it's either this or get to the other side of the universe as fast as possible and drown his sorrows in drink*

Doctor: Well, in that case, I suppose you could help me with my adjustments to the dynamic pulse regulator... I don't suppose you could do too much damage and I need SOMEONE with an understanding of fourth dimensional temporal interphase…


Brigadier: Doctor, I was wondering if you... *jawdrop of Rassilon, despite the fact that he's a human and doesn't have a clue who Rassilon is* *sees the Doctor* *sees the MASTER* *sees them working together on a blueprint* *is THE ONLY PERSON ON THE BASE who can put 2 and 2 together* Doctor, what is this?! Explain yourself immediately!

Doctor: *jumps* *totally wasn't distracted by all the science talk/proximity of the Master* What?! Ah. Brigadier, just the man I wanted to see. The Master here *gestures as if the Brigadier might not know who he's talking about* Has just offered to assist me in my latest project. *beams*

Master: *staaare* *and not for the usual reasons, but is rather afraid the Doctor overstepped his boundaries in saying that* *will have to have a LONG TALK with him about making obligations for him*

Brigadier: *slow blink* *thinking about having his ears cleaned* Excuse me Doctor, you'll have to repeat that. Did I just hear you rightly that the Master is going to HELP you on your LATEST PROJECT? *stare of disbelief*

Doctor: Yes, that's right *liprub* He made the offer, and I could hardly refuse. He is, after all, one of the few capable of understanding, let alone improving on, my calculations.

Brigadier: All that aside, Doctor, need I remind you *speaking as if the Master wasn't in the room*, this is the MASTER we're talking about! HOW ON EARTH CAN YOU TRUST HIM?! *flails*

Master: *mildly insulted by the Brigadier's tone, but would like to congratulate him for remembering that last bit* *vaguely flattered by the Doctor admitting that he can improve his calculations* *smug!grin*

Doctor: *looks at the Master, then takes the Brigadier aside. By the elbow. No respect* Brigadier, I appreciate your concern, but I have reason to believe that the Master is sincere in his desire to assist me. *doesn't intend to elaborate on those reasons, because they mostly boil down to "We used to sneak off and do unspeakable things in the labs back on Gallifrey and the Master is sentimental"*

Brigadier: Well, even if you will trust him, that isn't enough to convince me. He MUST be held accountable for his actions here. On top of covering for all the things he's done in the past, how do you expect me to just let him stay here, handcuffs-free?

Master: *pretends not to be listening to their conversation about him as he fiddles with the blueprint* *is mildly disgusted/annoyed/nostalgic to discover that the Doctor's hand-writing hasn't improved one WHIT since the Academy...*

Doctor: My dear Brigadier, need I remind you what happened the last time you attempted to hold him accountable for his crimes? *eyebrow!quirk* *insufferable grin* *really wouldn't be wholly against a replay of the sea devils incident... with the jet-skis, definitely, that bit was FUN*

Brigadier: Ah, but this time he will be here, under YOUR watchful eye, Doctor *jabbing finger at his chest, revenge for the elbow pull*

Master: *looks up, aghast*

Doctor: *looks down at the Brigadier's finger, than back up at him* You aren't suggesting that I be put in charge of-- of BABYSITTING him *completely flustered* No, this is merely a-- a consult, if you will, it shouldn't take more than a few hours. It's not as if he's here to stay

Master: *facial expression changes from shocked insult, to slightly flattered, to hurt pout* *feels the need to interject here* Ah, Doctor, before your conversation continues any farther, might I have a word?

Doctor: *slightly surprised, had forgotten that the Master was listening in* Yes? *decides to abandon the Brig before he can object* Yes, what is it?

Master: *pulls the Doctor in WAAAY far corner, is SO not letting the Brig hear this* Uh, Doctor, though I have certain objections about the terms and conditions of my stay here, I'm, uh, NOT entirely against a... somewhat... indefinite stay here... *strokes rubbish!beard, half in earnest thought, half just to soften the Doctor a little*

Brigadier: *taps foot impatiently, not being able to hear a word*

Doctor: ... you're WHAT?! *pretty sure the Brig heard that, drops voice to a whisper* Now, look here, I don't know what you're plotting, but I agreed to allow you to assist me, temporarily, for as long as it took us to work out a very specific problem-- then, of course, I had assumed you would head back to your TARDIS and vanish into the vortex *not a little jealous of THAT ability*

Master: Jealous, Doctor? *cannot mistake that look* Perhaps, but... *lowers voice even more* if I WERE to stay, I could take you where ever you wanted... *REALLY wants to just stay, and REALLY doesn't want to let the Doctor know that* but, *raises voice slightly* if you want me gone that badly... *can't quite hide a small pout*

Brigadier: *SERIOUSLY wants to know what's going on now*

Doctor: *angry that the Master called him on his jealousy and managed to make him two offers he CAN'T take in the same breath* Of course I want you gone, you're a public menace and a villain *little pout* I can hardly just--hardly just keep you!

Master: *mutters something about if he wanted to be kept...* Very well Doctor *straightens up and raises voice loud enough for the Brigadier to hear* after I help you fix your little P.E.N.I.S. *spells it out* problem, I will leave *smirk of revenge*

Brigadier: *BLINKSTAAAARE* *REALLY needs his ears cleaned* *is almost tempted to run screaming out of the room to get it done NOW*

Doctor: *goes a little pink* *clears throat* Yes, quite, *going to PRETEND that he didn't just DO that-- in front of the Brigadier, of all the--* If you could just take a look at my plans for the main power reduplicator *walks back over to the blueprint stack, calm as can be* I'm fairly sure that's where the problem is.

Brigadier: *coughs* *swallows* And you promise to leave when that's finished, do you?

Master: Oh, yes Brigadier... and no amount of begging will stop me, I can tell when I'm not wanted and I'm CERTAINLY not wanted here *sounds as gay (Here meaning HAPPY, thankyousomuch) as can be, but the Doctor can FEEL the bitterness coming off him in waves*

Brigadier: Err... good... *REALLY doesn't want to hear the backstory behind that one* *flees swiftly* *hopes that the chemists have found a new formula for brain bleach that he can test out*

Doctor: *grimaces, because, yes, that DOES hurt* Here you are, then. *shoves the plans in his general direction* I -- I must go check on-- *just doesn't feel like flirting anymore* Well, yes, I must. *shifts awkwardly, preparing to make a run for it and wait*

Master: *glances at plans* *realizes the Doctor isn't running away, as usual* *looking at the plans and NOT looking at the Doctor* You know, if you just told me to stay, I would stay...

Doctor: *awkward shift* *rubs neck* Yes... yes, I know. Of course I know.

Master: *grinds teeth, frustrated!sigh* Well, it seems the problem is in your calculations, you've used a logarithm when you should have used natural log... *flings papers back across the table at the Doctor*

Doctor: *CLINGS to the change of topic* Did I? I haven't made such a juvenile mistake since--*storms over and grabs the plans* Here, don't be ridiculous, the geometric progression of the reduplication process clearly calls for one, anything else would send the entire system into overload *points vaguely*

Master: *can see the Doctor isn't REALLY focused on the plans any more than he is* *watches him with hooded eyes* Doctor, the error is in your calculations, I'm sure of it. *didn't actually intend to load those words with so much metaphor, but there you are*

Doctor: *slightly flustered* My calculations are perfect, I know they are. *still looking at the plans, though he's stopped actually reading them* I've spent years coming up with them, I can hardly be expected to just-- just toss them aside based on guesswork. *really not talking about the plans anymore*

Master: *looking him in the eye, even if he's still hopelessly trying to focus on the plans* Doctor *very patiently* new theories in mathematics are thought of every day. And I was always the better mathematician, you were the physicist. *wry!grin, very fleeting* Your calculations, you must admit, just this once, were wrong.

Doctor: *about a million lightyears away* Yes... yes, of course, you're right. Here, I don't suppose you could help me find the error? *a little uncertain, suspecting that the Master will refuse out of spite*

Master: *REFUSES to let the overflowing hearts-break show on his face* *is failing just a little because he can't stop the over-brightness in his eyes* *is thankful the Doctor really doesn't notice... yet* *swallows* Yes, of course... *walks over to the Doctor's side of the table to show him* *pretends he doesn't remember checking Thet-- the Doctor's homework just like... this*

Doctor: *moves aside to let him see, but still hovers closer than he really needs to* I think you're right, that it must be somewhere in here *reaches over, leaning against the Master just a little... he can't keep the Master, but he can enjoy it while it lasts* but I can't for the lives of me see where it is. *little smile, and looks at the Master FINALLY* Some things never change-- are you quite alright?

Master: *rubs nose hurriedly* *in a gruff tone that has NOTHING TO DO WITH CERTAIN UNSPEAKABLE EMOTIONS* I'm perfectly alright Doctor, just a bit of a draft in here is all... must have caught chill... *points with black-leather!glove-of-ambiguity-that's-trying-really-hard-to-still-look-evil-but-really-rather-wishing-it-was-more-good* there, the logarithm base 15 should be a natural log and I think it will solve your entropic decay problems

Doctor: Hmm. *watching the Master and not really looking where he's pointing* You don't say. Listen, are you sure you're alright, you look a little flushed.

Master: *closing eyes very carefully and taking a deep, only slightly shakey, breath* Doctor if you ask me if I'm alright one more time I will have to leave without another word, now do you want to solve this problem, or don't you? *glares up at the Doctor, realizes that was a bad idea, and turns away again a little too quickly to be considered normal*

Doctor: *frowns in confusion, really more interested in the Master's reaction than the problem with the Prototype* I do, of course I do, you said it was that logarithm just... *reaches over, leaning into the Master and pointing to the wrong spot* Just here, was it?

Master: *fighting down a laugh that SERIOUSLY threatens to break down all pretense of composure* No, you stupid git... *defies the little voices in his head telling him this is a BAD IDEA of the First Degree* *guides his hand to the correct spot* here... *lets it rest there, unflinching* *pauses a moment, toys with the idea, decides once again, to defy everything and throw caution to the proverbial wind* *pulls the Doctor's hand to his chest and closes his eyes, just letting him feel how weakly his hearts beat* and here...

Doctor: Ah... *stares, really REALLY can't pretend to have missed that one* *sad half smile* I suppose I should have used the natural logarithm there as well. *can't resist splaying his fingers a bit, then wrapping his hand around his tie* It wouldn't be hard to...modify my calculations. *speaking a little more softly*

Master: *shudders* *can't stop just one tear leaking out* *tilts head down to avoid showing the Doctor* *can't speak, but is going to try anyway* If you... if you would only... *with intense control* try... *interlocks fingers with the Doctor, still on his chest*

Doctor: *very softly* That didn't exactly work out well the first time...*reaches up with his spare hand to stroke the Master's cheek turning his face toward him, not going after the tear so as not to embarrass him*

Master: *sigh* *opens eyes, much clearer now* I remember... but we were young, Doctor, we were very, very young... *frowning, not out of self-pity, but in an attempt to make a logical argument out of this painful mess*

Doctor: We haven't changed very much... *goes after the frown with his fingers, doing that nervous lipstroking gesture on the Master for once* ... the obvious differences aside.

Master: *will not suck on the Doctor's fingers, will not suck on the Doctor's fingers, will not...* *tenderly kisses the tips of his fingers, dragging them ever so slightly into his mouth* *slight eyebrow!raise of glee*

Doctor: *flinches* *takes a deep breath* That's not helping. *doesn't pull away*

Master: *sucks harder, flicking his tongue at them* *over fingers, so it's slightly garbled* Shouldn't have put them near my mouth... *glee increasing with each passing second that the Doctor doesn't pull away*

Doctor: *swallows visibly* *watches him and tries, very, very hard to come up with a reason to flee back into his TARDIS* ... oh, for Rassilon's sake! *pulls his finger free, grabs the Master by the shoulders and shoves him up against the table* You really haven't changed at all, you're still utterly incorrigible *proceeds to snog him senseless*

Master: *cannot remember being THIS happy in a LONG DAMN TIME!* *REALLY EFFING MISSED THIS* *one hand rakes the Doctor's back while the other nests itself in his cotton-candy hair*